Most MissSpellable Word - English?

I'm not a native English speaker but I tend to keep an eye on my spelling and grammar.

I recently misspelled "throw" as "throe", which, to my surprise, was a real word.

I learned a new word by accident.

So, I'm asking you, which words can be misspelled to create most new words?

To misspell a word, use the following rules:

  • $(1.)$ Replace a letter of the original word with a nearby one based on the QWERTY keyboard; this was the case of my misspell: Qwerty-misspell

    A "nearby" letter is the one you can reach from the initial letter without crossing any other letters, just to be clear.

  • $(2.)$ duplicate a letter of the original word (god + o = good)

  • $(3.)$ leave out a letter of the original word (good - o = god)
  • $(4.)$ insert an extra letter before or after any other letter (good + s = goods)

Each rule can be used 0 or 1 times when producing a single word;

  • To be more specific, you can use a single rule A to get a word (god + 2. = good)
  • a combination of $2$ different rules A,B (god + 2.,4. = goods)
  • a combination of $3$ different rules A,B,C(god + 2.,3.,4. = odds)
  • all four rules (god + 2.,1.,3.,4. = {godd, gode, ode, odes} = odes)


  • A plural of the word, such as god + s = gods, should be considered the same word?
  • Rubio suggested: a tie is resolved with a shorter word winning. ( If still a tie, count the total number of rules used among all words and lesser rule count wins? )

Bonus Variation

In addition, you can play for a round 2 for example;

Once you've created all words you could from your initial word, you can apply the same game on each new word to create "second branched" words. You can play this up to some $n$ amount of branches and try to break the record for that $n$. In other words;

Can you find a word that branches the most when taking $n$ branches?

Edit: Note that the "bonus variation" is not necessary and can be ignored since it seems that the growth would be exponential and thus I do not see a good way to find the best branching word?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ My name is Miss Pellable and I approve of this puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Apr 29 '17 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil can you help me understand why? There are $4$ fixed rules that you apply to a word to generate most new words. I made few clarifications. $\endgroup$ – Vepir Apr 29 '17 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I'm just thinking that if you can add any letter, anywhere in the word, thats a possible 26*6 different possibilities for a four letter word. Then if you duplicate any letter, for a four letter word that's another four possibilities. And leave out a letter gives another four. A letter on a keyboard can have a max 6 keys surrounding it, so thats 6*4. So for a four letter word thats 188 different possibiities. Sure not all of those ar words, but I don't want to go checking that. $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Apr 29 '17 at 13:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ May I suggest - if two words each give the same number of misspellings, the shorter original word wins. Ties can still happen even with this rule but there won't be nearly as many. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Apr 29 '17 at 13:47
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because open-ended puzzles are off-topic as of May 2019. It could also maybe be Needs Details or Clarity, since "word" isn't defined. $\endgroup$ – bobble Jun 25 at 15:30

Allowing all the rules makes the space pretty big, and pretty hard to search for longer words.

For the record, I'm assuming that the keyboard keys need to share a piece of border to be adjacent. So w's neighbours are q,a,s, and e; or h's neighbours are y,u,g,j,b, and n

I think "hid" has 74 words that fit.

'irs', 'hr', 'bed', 'ic', 'ie', 'uhs', 'iud', 'is', 'hods', 'ode', 'ire', 'hew', 'nix', 'hood', 'yid', 'pod', 'hod', 'hoed', 'lid', 'ice', 'hoi', 'hied', 'bid', 'ids', 'hold', 'bud', 'old', 'yod', 'bide', 'his', 'nod', 'hit', 'hue', 'hrs', 'hide', 'id', 'hex', 'has', 'had', 'him', 'bird', 'if', 'hip', 'god', 'her', 'hi', 'he', 'hies', 'hor', 'od', 'kid', 'hic', 'gird', 'huh', 'hike', 'hiss', 'yds', 'mid', 'hid', 'hire', 'bids', 'bod', 'hind', 'hoe', 'hoc', 'ifs', 'yids', 'hop', 'bio', 'gds', 'hee', 'hued', 'hie', 'ho'

Some of these are not very satisfactory, so I may need a better list of words.

I have found:

foes, which has 164 misspellings

The misspellings are:

'fort', 'ties', 'rows', 'role', 'cole', 'flew', 'flea', 'forts', 'gore', 'roes', 'fred', 'oxes', 'gores', 'voles', 'toke', 'flies', 'fora', 'ores', 'flex', 'rose', 'cees', 'doers', 'coeds', 'goer', 'dies', 'dews', 'feed', 'rope', 'teas', 'vers', 'floss', 'fed', 'fold', 'reds', 'cows', 'flow', 'toss', 'doer', 'few', 'fire', 'pres', 'floes', 'coed', 'pees', 'fess', 'lese', 'coles', 'fore', 'loss', 'cokes', 'cope', 'dope', 'dows', 'fox', 'roses', 'owed', 'eros', 'dose', 'fled', 'fees', 'fords', 'rosa', 'core', 'flows', 'does', 'opes', 'fps', 'pods', 'pews', 'odds', 'fops', 'floe', 'ors', 'orts', 'toe', 'code', 'foes', 'doses', 'fossa', 'fosse', 'vows', 'frow', 'tokes', 'coke', 'fez', 'froes', 'fids', 'cops', 'cods', 'ropes', 'flews', 'lows', 'teds', 'tole', 'roe', 'ires', 'tows', 'goes', 'fries', 'fores', 'lies', 'oles', 'tees', 'ford', 'firs', 'less', 'foe', 'rode', 'cores', 'files', 'file', 'foxes', 'owes', 'goers', 'codes', 'ides', 'pies', 'gees', 'doss', 'fie', 'topes', 'dos', 'flee', 'tops', 'vole', 'vees', 'joes', 'hoes', 'fleas', 'fide', 'dole', 'cess', 'rods', 'des', 'dopes', 'for', 'odes', 'lees', 'copes', 'toes', 'gods', 'tores', 'dees', 'folds', 'tors', 'peds', 'pows', 'doe', 'fires', 'flees', 'free', 'dors', 'olds', 'doles', 'peas', 'tope', 'feds', 'vies', 'toed', 'leas', 'fee', 'roles', 'fides', 'tore'

I didn't find anything better than foes. There's a few good ones out there, but it's harder to search longer words, and I suspect there's fewer hits, so I think the tie-breaker should go to the longer word! I'm running the script to consider 5-letter words (best so far is fores with 127).

  • $\begingroup$ Nice! Did you use a script or do this by hand? $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Apr 30 '17 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ Script definitely! $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Apr 30 '17 at 23:46

If I have understood the rules correctly, the word 'hid' gives 15 misspelled words (words are real words from dictionary.com):

Rule 1 gives 9 different words:

  • Changing 'h':

    • Gid
    • Bid
    • Yid
  • Changing 'i'

    • Hod
    • Hud
  • Changing 'd'

    • His
    • Hie
    • Hir
    • Hic

Rule 2 gives none.

Rule 3 gives 1 word:

  • Leaving out 'd' = hi

Rule 4 gives 5 different words:

  • Before H:

    • Chid
    • Whid
  • Before I gives none

  • Before D gives:

    • Hied
    • Hind
  • After D gives:

    • Hide

So that is total 9+1+0+5 =

15 misspelled words

  • $\begingroup$ Please tell me if this is wrong $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Apr 29 '17 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ Seems all alright, but you can use multiple rules (other than the same rule multiple times) to reach a word and you seem to be using one rule at a time. For example, to get "hod" you used rule 1., but you can apply rule 4. also to get "hood". But I'm not sure if this will add up to too much words. $\endgroup$ – Vepir Apr 29 '17 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Vepir that will definitely make too many words. I could start from a and apply rule 4 multiple times to get a 16 letter word which contains a if I wanted. Just keep it one at a time, and don't do multiple $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Apr 29 '17 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ No, I mean you can use each rule once. You can use rule 1.,2.,3. or 4. like you did and also combinations such as 1.2.,1.3.,1.4., 2.3., 2.4,...1.2.3., 4.3.2.,... // $\endgroup$ – Vepir Apr 29 '17 at 14:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Vepir oh few. Yeah that might be viable. I'll see how many more words can be created $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Apr 29 '17 at 14:14

4 and possibly 6.

"dight" could be typoed as "sight", "eight", "right" or "fight". If d and t are close enough, also "tight"; if h and i are close enough, also "digit".

  • $\begingroup$ The question was edited with a few clarifications; d and t aren't close since you need to go over r or f to reach t from d. Similarly, i isn't close either. I hope it's clear now. $\endgroup$ – Vepir Apr 29 '17 at 13:51

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